Skip to main content
6:00 am
committee holds in the hearing morning on the internal revenue service practice of targeting conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status. members will hear from the treasury department's inspector general for tax a demonstration and steve miller, the outgoing acting irs commissioner who resigned wednesday. live coverage is on c-span 2 at 9:00 a.m. eastern and you can read the inspector general's report on line at garfield was an educated woman and was a believer in women's rights and expressed frustration over the traditional roles of mothers and wives. during her husband's campaign, she reluctantly played the role of hostess but when he was assassinated, she returned to ohio and ensured his legacy by making their home into an early version of a presidential library. we will look at her life and
6:01 am
whot of mary arthur mcelroy built the role of first lady from her brother chester alan arthur. the senate judiciary committee continued to mark up the immigration and border security bill on thursday. members went through about 1/4 of the amendments to be considered and the committee resumes work on monday morning. this portion of yesterday's debate is one hour. >> this amendment would replace the provision in the bill related to the special non- immigrant visa program for the republic of ireland. this special earmark for ireland would allow most skilled workers, some with just a high- school degrees, to work in the united states. the secretary has the discretion to prescribe conditions with
6:02 am
regard to these non-immigrants. there's also discretion for the secretary to waive ground -- on grounds of inadmissibility. while the more prudent course of action on this provision is to strike it, i am offering an amendment that would put parameters on this program. these are the same parameters that senator schumer and i agreed to last year. i want to repeat that -for senator schirmers benefit because it was not paying attention. [laughter] >> how do you know that? >> these are the same parameters that senator schumer and i agreed to last year. for people watching on this committee -- >> i can hear you bite he happens to be a democrat and i happen to be republican. here is what my amendment does -- new visacreate a
6:03 am
classification for individuals from the republic of ireland. the so would allow individuals to enter the united states after an employer files a labor attestation with the department of labour. the bill would allow 10,500 new the says to be available each year for two years. the visa would be good for two years although it indefinitely renewable. the allocation of 10,500 would be divided into three categories of workers. 3500 for specialty occupations or those who would specialize or a bachelor's or higher degree. 3500 for aliens who have at least a high-school education or its equivalent, and 3504 aliens who, within five years of the date of application for a visa under this subsection, have at least three years of work
6:04 am
experience in occupations for which the aliens are applying. years of wor experience and on passi occupations for which aliens are applying. both principal alien and each dependent would be required to pay a fee of $300. the bill would prohibit individuals here on the irish visa to be eligible for any means tested public benefit, finally the bill includes a provision that triggers implementation of the irish visa program when, quote, the secretary of state certifies that the government of ireland provides immigration benefits to nationals of the united states that are similar considering the relative population size of the two countries to the benefits provided to nationals of ireland under this act. again, this is a concept that senator schumer and i agreed to last year. i don't think that we should be
6:05 am
creating special visa programs just for any country. i think the whole purpose of the immigration bill, outside beyond the legazation part of it, the part that dealing with the legalized provisions of the gang of eight bill is to provide workers that are needed for the united states and within that same principle apply to ireland as well as any other country or any other individuals coming here. but we should have better parameters than are in the ga of eight bill. i urge its adoption. i ask senator shum for it was good enough last year to get a bill through e united states senate, why isn't the same parameters and restricts good enough for now? >> patrick leahy will give his
6:06 am
views on the irish visa. go ahead, senator schumer. >> thank you. first i want to thank my good friend, chuck grassley. i have enormous affection for him. we share much more in common than people would think. for instance, we're the only two charles e.s in the senate. the only two chucks in the senate. used to be four. rob and hagel. but now it's you and me. and i enjoy our -- i enjoy our repartee. on this amendment, the bottom line is very simple and that is this, we have always had a program to help irish immigration, for one very good reason. many. american and ireland are bound together by history, traditions and a common ancestry. according to the u.s. census, there are 41 million americans who claim to be wholly or partly of irish ancestry. the proposal addresses conan
6:07 am
consequences unintended from 1965 immigration law that inadvert antly disadvantaged irish nationals seeking to enter the united states and ever since that time, my predecessor on this committee, senator kennedy, sought to rectify it. and we had a series of programs, donnelly visas in 1988, the morrison visas in 1992, diversity visas in 1994, which we are terminating now with the request of many on the other side. we keep sunsetting the provisions and it creates disruption. we have similar programs with australia, chile, singapore, none of them have the same historic connection to the united states that ireland does. i thk the program is well crafted. two-year sunset would mean that we would -- by the time it got started up it would be over. may as well not have it. so i would just conclude by
6:08 am
quoting somebody who is my mentor and idol in the senate who ran the committee so well for so long, i think his spirits hovering over the bill ase talk about, senator kennedy. he was a sponsor of the 1965 law which i mentioned inadvertently impacted the irish negatively. he said, in 2006, in 19 65, what we were trying to do is eliminate discrimination that existed in lott about the way the legislation was developed worked in a dramatic and significant way against the irish. the amendment -- the proposal in the bill without sunsetting after two years, without chopping things up, creates a program very similar to what we have for other countries and it does put it into law permanently and i urge its support. >> let me speak also seriously about this. i wtched this whole issue carefully. i've discussed it wirth the irish as well as the irish
6:09 am
ambassador, superb ambassador colins. certainly evireviewed history on island has that had a troubled history which caused some -- especially to our country and other english speaking countries. but i think of that shared history we have with ireland, when i think of presidents who have claimed irish ancestry, president kennedy, president reagan, actually president obama, and others, i know about the shared history. i worry about welcoming a foreign national to work and live in the united states but then deny them any public benefits when they make a valuable contribution to our
6:10 am
society. i don't know how you deny things like emergency medicaid to e-3b holder, which would cost less, but just to go to the emergency room which will cost us or. i feel very strongly about the visas that we have for a number ofountries. but the irish visas that i intend to fight for them. >> the gang of eight worked carefully to make sure we took care of this problem. we knew it was a challenge. we have been trying for years to resolve this program. i will tell you, the honor of representing the city of chicago which has a few irishmen and very proud of it, the irish population has been so supportive of immigration reform, not just for themselves, but for others, because like many groups in our nation's history, they have lived it. they have known what it meant to face the discrimination and to facehe
6:11 am
they are a major element in leadership of our country today. we have a rich national heritage and tradition between us. i fully support the provision in the bill and urge my colleagues to resist the amendment by senator grassley. >> senator grassley? >> i would like to close, before we vote. and that would be i hope everybody listened to what senator schumer said. first of all, we're not repealing anything dealing with ireland. we're just putting parameters on it. there's no reason to not to welcome skilled workers from ireland as well fras aas from a country. the point being, what's the purpose of the legislation, particarly legal immigration part of it. it is to make sure that americans have workers that they had.
6:12 am
the other thing is that senator schumer didn't answer my question why if it was od enough last time, it wouldn't be good enough this time because i thought we worked out a strong compromise. it had been brought up last year we wouldn't be dealing with this this year, at least as far as the united states senate is cornered. i'm going to withdraw the amendment. >> thank you. the amendment is withdrawn. i call up ley amendment number two. let me describe it. it would make important improvements to job creating eb-5 regional center program. >> are we done with the first tranche of title i havv? >> we are. >> nothing can be brought up on title iv? >> if it's closed, it's closed. on the first tranche?
6:13 am
the first tranche is closed. this would be called up by consent. >> a number ofmendments as you can see from my colleague of utah here, we are working very hard to negotiate an agreement and i have asked the senator from utah to defer these amendments, klobuchar 6 is included in this as well, in hopes we can get an agreement for early next week in which we ask permission to come back. >> mr. chairman? mr. chairman? >> i -- some pine we have to vote on these things. senator from utah? >> mr. chairman, i really appreciate the way your side has worked with a number of us on this committee, both democrats and republicans.
6:14 am
and i am happy to put this over until next week and hopefully we can resolve this because it's extremely important. not just to me, but i not to me but theigh-tech world. i want to thank the distinguished senator from new york for dill gently working with us. >> we'll keep it open. we have to bring up other amendments. >> let's perhaps one of the things we can address tomorrow morning and tomorrow afternoon, that would make sure we can get it -- i call up my leahy amendment number two. this amendment would make improvements to eb-5 regional center program. we talked about investment america, power of immigration, to make our economy stronger. my amendment's going to do just that. the eb-5 program created good-paying jobs for american workers in state of vermont as well as iowa, utah, new york,
6:15 am
texas, and other states. there are currely approved regional centers in alabama, and the senator from alabama and i worked closely on this matter, arizona,alifornia, connecticut, hawaii, illinois, iowa, minnesota, new york, south carolina, texas, utah, and my state. citizens of the state, 16 members of the committee using the important program to create jobs, improve communities. eb-5 regional center program enacted in 1993. senator grassley and i worked together to reauthorize it in 2003. i fought for several extension of the program since then. last year i worked with senators grassley, cornyn, hatch, shumer to extend the program for another three years. i'm glad today we're considering the permanent authorization for this important program. at the suggestion of senator grassley, i've added a
6:16 am
suggestion by senator grassley to significantly increase oversighuthori for the department of homeland security. i've included these measures alook with ideas to make the program more efficient for businesses and investors that participate in it, i'm perfectly willing to have a voice vote on miami but certainly does anybody wish to peek to it? senator from alabama. >> mr. chairman, you've worked on this for a number of years and i've been pleased to work with you on it. this clearly is a job creating immigration amendment. it allows persons to come to america if they are going to invest and if they're going to create jobs. and you tightent up, language is tight. it says secretary should perform background checks on anyone associated with the center,
6:17 am
fingerprint, fbi checks and other controls to make sure it's not abused. but most of us, in our states seen the advantage of for investment. we have a toyota plant, mercedes plant, these individualsave invested millions of dollars creating tens of thousands of jobs and it's been good for the economy. i believe your amendment strengthens the bill. i believe it puts us on a right path. i believe it's good for america in the national interest and i thank you f your leadership about. >> i thank you, senator. anybody else? anybody else wish to speak to the amendment? those in favor of the amendment signify by saying aye. opposed? the ayes appear to have it. the ayes have it. i thank all of my colleagues but i thank senators on both sis
6:18 am
of the aisle. senator session, senator grassley and everybody else who worked with us on making this amendment. what's next? senator grassley has an amendment. next? what? >> what number? >> remember two days ago i had questions on the wisa program i wanted to ask? the w program is available so anybody that of the gang of eight can answer this or anybody else that wants to speak to it. the w program is available for foreign workers who are outside the united states and want to enter through legal channels. it does not allow people here illegally to apply for a w visa. would someone who has been here illegally but returns to their home country be eligible to apply?
6:19 am
i guess senator flake, you're the one that's left here. >> anybody wish to answer the question? >> subject to the same three and ten-year bars. >> senator flake? sorry. go ahead. >> yes. they would be subject to the same three and ten-year bars as in current law. >> secondly, employers who apply for the registered position must try to find u.s. worker first. pa that requirement is on page 818. yet on page 80 7, u.s. worker is defined and includes people in rpi status. question, does this mean employers must first offer the job or recruit the individual who broke the law and are awarded rpi status before they use this legal immigrion progm? if so, isn't this unfair to people who are following the law and apply for w visa from their
6:20 am
home country? >> it means before you hire somebody from abroad you have to look at entire pool of talent here. >> okay. three, the person applying for w visa must, quote, agree to accept only registered positions in the united states end of quote. question. can you point to any los angeles that tells us what happens to the w visa holder if they don't abide by this term and are found working for a nonregistered employer? >>f they -- if after 60 days their visa can be revoked if they don't have employment. their w visa would not pass e-verify. they wouldn't be able to stay. >> okay. >> they have to have employment. >> and that also applies to
6:21 am
somebody found working for a nonregistered empyer? >> yes. they have to comply with the law. >> okay. on page -- >> that would be a violation of their visa, i'm sorry. >> i have three more questions. on page 811 it says that, quote, a w nonimmigrant shall report to such nonimmigrant's initial employment nay registered position not later than 14 days after such nonimmigrant is admitted to the united states end of quote. how does an employer, this is the question, how does the employer know when a w visa holder is admitted, what if the person doesn't show up for weeks? how would the employer know to notify the department of homeland security if the employer doesn't know the admitted date? >> like with students there's a database. if they don't show up, then it's noted. we'll know. they're part of the database,
6:22 am
like we have students. better than we have today with students frankly. we have a pretty good entry system. we just don't have a good exit system currently. >> page 812 a w visa holder can be unemployed for a period of no more than 60 consecutive days. question, couldn't a person be employed for two days, leave the employer, work somewhere else for four days, lve that employer and so on? what -- why not say cumulative remember than consecutive? shouldn't we be worried about those that may abuse this work requirement? >> that, i think we'd be happy to work with you on something like that. >> okay. >> last question. the w visa program places a hefty fee on employers who need workers. the aliens only have to pay for their own transportation and passport costs. question, why did the authors
6:23 am
not include any processing or other fees for w visa applicants? >> the fees a pretty extensive. they're funding the database and the make up the program. so i -- whether it's employee -- sorry the employer or the individua individual. >> i was wondering why not the applicant that wants to come here to work? >> well, they are here for employment. i think it would be difficult. under current law that burden is typically on the employer to pay. those fees if they want them to come. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. you told me you did want to ask those questions and of course i always yield to you for that. do you have an amendment now?
6:24 am
>> did senator grassley offer the amendment? >> yeah. 75. and i'm going -- >> 75? >> you're going to withdraw? >> mr. chairman. >> thank you senator grassley for raising the issue and th w-1 or w-2 reese 1 visas remain >> just hold. which number are we on? >> 76. >> 76. okay. >> raises a real question. i want to ask, maybe i can dispose of an amendment. i have filed without a vote just by commenti on this. i guess my first question would be to the sponsors of the legislation. does the exit of a w-1ing w-2 visa have to be accompanied by a biometric identifier so we have an actual exit system that
6:25 am
biometrically records that the immigrant left at the time they were supposed to or did not leave? >> senator from new york. >> we don't have a separate system for w visas. it's the exit/entry system is the same for all visas and that makes the mo sense. >> well it makes no sense to me in sense that we need a biometic exit system. you are trcorrect there is no separate system for that for the w visas. i would point out that this is another powerful reasone feed a biometric exit system, because if you allow large numbers of persons unvisas, and there is this case w visas, to enter the country we need to know if they're going to leave. one of the biggest problems we have in immigration today is
6:26 am
people overstaying their visas and there's no mechanism to even know if they overstay. so i guess i would say to you, i want to ask for a vote on my am. we've had two votes on it so far. senator graham changed a vote last time and voted for my biometric amendment. senator rubio, i would note, has made clear that he wants a biometric entry/exit syste he was disappointed in the vote at we had the other day because it voted down that on a closed vote. i really think we need to continue to work on the biometric exit. i believe the w visa system cannot be sold the american people as an effective system if we can't tell them we know when people complete their work and whether or not they've left the country. and what we've got in this system, and many of the visa programs, colleagues, you have to know, you've got large
6:27 am
numbers of people coming annually. they're supposed to, some of themre supposed to leave at various times. they're coming with their family. they're staying ltiple years. in large numbers of em, history tells us, will not leave. so therefore, we're not going to achieve the lawfulness in th system that we've promises the american would bechieved if the bill passed. we've had a couple of ves on that system. we'll continue to discuss the need for biometc. >> will the senator yield? i want to make one point. this system is just what it should be you come in, you have a passport. you're obviously a person coming in on a visa. you then on the way out you have to swipe the passport, it's not, again, not forgeable. and it integrates with the whole system to see when people are here and when people are not. it's a strong system. and the w visa system has its own database which is integrated
6:28 am
into the rest. so -- >> i'd be glad -- at least that's better than the present system for most people. but it doesn't strike me that that's been effective. i appreciate your comment. >> mr. chairman? the grassley amendment, i'd like to yield to senatorgrassley if we can. >> senator schumer yield for one quick question? >> happy to field. >> i hear what you're saying abt the passport coming in. the passport going out. what if the --hat if the person on a temporary visa never shows up to swipe their passport on the way out? >> that's the point. right now we have no way of knowing because nobody swipes anything on the way out. now there would be the system would work that john smith overstayed his visaand they would go track down john smith. john smith would not be if he
6:29 am
was a student, these are w visas, he would not be allowed to be employed anywhere, you have to show the card for any employment and they'd track him down and find him. now they do nothing. >> i agree they do nothing now. i don't have much confidence that they -- that that will change. only time that we encounter people who overstay their visas if they commit crimes. then they're screened, if they commit serio crimes they're deported. right now we have no effective system. i agree with senator sessions, this system is no substitute for a biometric entry/it system which i think is the only dependable way to ensure the american people of illegal immigration, the product of the failure to enact the entry/exit system the law of the land for 17 years is an absolute disaster. >> i would just say to my colleae, my good friend, whether it's biometric or using a swipe of a passport you still have to enforce th allow some
6:30 am
kinds of automatic enforcement. can't be employed anywhere unless the employer's violating the law. the issue of biometric, we discussed at length yesterday, expensive and every time it's been proven, it's flopped. if we pushed biometric system we'd have nothing for a decade. having this system which worked, it's worked if many places as a try-out, even disneyland. disneyland did a fingerprt. i can't remember which one, disney world did a fingerprint and when disney studied how they worked it went to a picture, biographic system like passport in disney world. every place -- i've been a big supporter of biometrics. if you want something to work and you want it to go into effect in a reasonable amount of time, tosimply say let's do a biometric, we've been saying that for years, since 20001 and we haven't had one. this is a known system that is,
6:31 am
if not foolproof, as close to it as you can come. if you want -- i -- the -- to have the possible perfect ten years in future be the enemy of the extremely good doesn't make much sense to . >> i would say riefly, in response, that the flaw, and don't doubt your sincerity a bit, the flaw is, if people don't exit, there is essentially no mechanism for identifying them and making sure that they honor the temporary nature -- >> i would say this. first that argument is a valid argument. it has nothing to do with the type of system, biometric or otherwise. whether it's biometric system or the other if you don't go through the gate, go back out of the country, you're not geeing to find them. these are work visas, w visas, tied into the employment system. anyone -- no company will be
6:32 am
able to hire this person. and so that is a pretty good incentive for people to work, if they can't get work. that would be whether it's a biometric or a passport system. >> just conclusion, i know we all understand there are a lot of people who don't have visas that are working now in our country. i agree that a e-verify or employer verification system will help. but i think it's naive for us to think that it will solve all of our problems. i would ask mr. chairman, i know there have been statements made how expense everybody a biometric system is. i know there's -- that's heavily contested. and i wish we could get some good information from some people who actually know the answer to that. i can't believe it's as prohibitively expensive. i believe it will be superior than the system senator schumer describes. >> mr. chairman?
6:33 am
>> we're still on the grassley amendment. senator grassley, then senator feinstn. >> thank you. just to clarify the amendment i'm offering, and going to withdraw, but to bring up flaws in the bill, we've been discussing flaws about the exit/entry system. my remarks are in regard to the employer monitoring system. this amendment would require the electronic employer tracking system to be fully implemented and fully deployed prior to the mission of w nonimmigrants. on page 849 the bill says, quote, the secretary through the u.s. citizenship and immigration service shall implement an electronic monitoring system to monitor presence and employment of w nonimmigrants. such system shall be modeled on
6:34 am
the student second and change visitor information, cvis and cvis 2 tracking system of the united states immigration and customs enforcement, end of quote. this language poses questions. first, are we going to mandate employers use e have-verify andw system not established yet. we mandate that employer use e-verify but then monitor it on a system not yet established. second, are we going to base this new tracking system on the flawed ineffective and broken system that tracks students today? we just had a discussion on that. we talked a bit on tuesday about the student tracking system. in 1996, after the '93 world trade center attack, congress mandated that the gre with coop
6:35 am
schools and universities collect information on foreign students. this system took years to get up and running. in fact, it still wasn't in place on 9/11. while it's operational today, thers still work to be done to make sure that the system is effective. yet, this bill would require the u.s. citizenship and immigration service the same agency in charge of the legalization program, the e-verify program, and every other immigrant benefit to set up and operate a monitoring system for employers who use the new w visa program. this bill lacks clarity on this system. it doesn't provide any detail on when it has to be developed or deployed. it doesn't say what penalties would be assessed if an employer doesn't use it. moreover, it doesn't protect
6:36 am
anyone's privacy. surely, members of this committee wouldn't want an employee's information to be made public or misused by an employer. if the w visa program is going to be based on the student tracking system, that's what the bill requires, then are employers going to designate certified users of the program? are they going to be trained on how to use the system? we have a huge problem with the student tracking system because some designated school officials -- and we call those dsos -- are misusing the system, not using it properly, and sometimes not tracking students' activities like they should. under the student tracking system, the dsos must be lawful, permanent residents or u.s. citizens. on tuesday, we agreed to an amendment offered by senator
6:37 am
feinstein and this senator that would require the dsos to undergo a background check. are we going to require employers of low-skilled workers to have designated officials that only use the program? are they going to -- are they prepared to pay for the background checks for their designated officials? what if they have high turnover rates? it makes one wonder if small businesses are really going to be able to take advantage of the program. if we require them to use this system and they don't have the resources, ts w visa program will be gears only towards big businesses. the visas still only go to the larger employers, restaurants and hotel chains, if this is the situation, or large packing plants, and companies that have the resources to cross state lines. some businesses should be very wary of the program. they will lose out and be
6:38 am
ueezed by the big businesses that have the resources to operate e-verify on the front end and this monitoring system on the back end. the bill is silent on every one of these issues. it's got something that we are got to arify. we potentially have an enormous, gaping hole here. we have a huge hole in one student visa process and that has been highlighted by the terrorist attacks in this country '93, 20012013. so we've got to ask everybody, when are we going to wake up? i want a temporary worker program that will work. i want legal avenues for people to enter and work in this country. i want there to be programs available to all businesses in the united states when they can't find american workers. so, we need the w visa program. i think this issue must be resolved. i know that a lot of hard work
6:39 am
and negotiations went into the w visa program. i know that both labor unions and business groups tackled some difficult issues. finally reaching an agreement. ths such an important part the bill, that during the year 2006 or '7, whenever it was it brought down the last immigration bill that we tried to pass at that particular time. so you have to raise the question, can this body really allow a program to go forward if the key elements to tracking workers and ensuring integrity of integrity of the program is missing? i hope that the sponsors of the bill will work with me on this issue as we move forward. as i said, i'm going to withdraw this amendment, but i thought it was very important at the committee level we understand some of the short comings of the legislation so we can get it right because we have to pass an immigration bill because the present immigration system is broken. >> thank you.
6:40 am
i agree we must pass one. >> mr. chairman? >> the amendment is withdrawn. >> may i just make a comment? >> as long as you like because then we'll go to the schumer number five. >> thanks, mr. chairman. i thank senator grassley for withdrawing the amendment, although i agree with a lot of what he said. i do agree with senator cornyn that we ought to look more deeply into the biometric systems. some states are using this on driver's licensees. i'd like to have an examination of exactly how costly it is. perhaps we can work together, not stop this bill, but it seems to me if there is a better identification system, one that cannot be foiled, i think we should have it. if it's cost effective, i know we should have it. it seems those are the two things we need to determine for the future.
6:41 am
i'm very happy to work with you in that regard. >> thank you. senator sessions. >> i see the gang of eight decided they couldn't make this happen, but it can be made to happen and it's got to be made to happen. i don't believe this legislation can pass if we don't have a biometric exit system as current law requires and has for a number of years, and they establish tlud pilot programs that it can work. sa today" said the best estimates are $3 billion to $6 billion. i don't know if that is not 25 or 10 airports are using, in my judgment. i don't see how in your legislation that explicitly rejects and repeals current law that requires biometric and takes us to biographic, and explicitly exempts having exit systems at land borders can be
6:42 am
in any way suggested strengthens current law because current law requires biometric exit systems at land borders. the american people need to know you're not strengthening current law, you're weakening current law. we can make this system work. if a person comes here on a visa, we need to know when they leave. if we don't have a system now, which we don't, that effectively carries that vision out, the new law weakens the requirement even further. so we've got a long way to go on that. i want to offer my amendment because we voted twice on it. i would note again senator rubio in his handout said there is a concern. the exit system omits land ports of entry. solution, the amendment, an amendment to require the exit system to be implemented and operational at our land ports of
6:43 am
entry, not just air and seaports as the current bill does. what i think will have to be in any bill that becomes law. >> senator from arizona. >> let me just say briefly, i do believe that we need to move to this system at some point. the question is how quickly we can get there and should we hold up the rest of the bill for this? i think that some of the amendments to come will deal with that. senator hatch, i believe, has the best amendment in this regard that could come up as part of title iii. it would establish in two years a mandatory biometric exist data system for theen u.s. core 30 airports. these are the ones that support the biggest level of air travel. five years after enactment, gao would say, how is this working? unless congress acts, it would be mandatory at the to 30 airports and go on from there. i think it's a thoughtful amendment. i hope we'll consider it because
6:44 am
this provides for gao to look at it, see what the cost is, how see how effecte it is. we'll ve the system senator schumer described which is a vast improvement on what we have today, which is virtually nothing for an exit system. as we go through this, i think we can reach a happy medium where we do make sure we are on the ad to biometrics, but we don't hold up the bill at immigration reform for that. >> would the senator yield for a quick question? is there a trigger associated with the implementation of the entry/exit system? it's been the law of the land since 1996 that we have an entry/exit system. it's never been implemented. i just wonder what the hammer is that we can use to enforce the obstinate bureaucracy or executive branch? >> before anybody can adjust
6:45 am
status to green card status. i think senator schum will speak to that. >> senator graham, recognition senator graham. >> following up on senator cornyn's point, this was a real big discussion among the group here is what should the triggers be? when it was proposed at the adjustment cannot take place until you have an entry/exit system implemented up and running and e-verify, i thought that was probably the biggest improvement we had since 2005 on how to get our borders secure and control illegal immigration. so it is a trigger. here's the question for the body. the current law says biometrics, but the truth of the matter, congress hasn't acted on that proposal. we've had republican presidents, we had republican congresses, we had democratic congresses and democratic presidents, and we
6:46 am
have never invested into making the exit system biometric. under the current system, it ally doesn't work very well at all. our proposal to have a photographic identifier, i think, is far better than the current system. having said that, senator cornyn, i want you to know if it were left up to me, we would have a biometric social security card. we wouldn't just have a piece of paper. we would have a biometric social security card which would be the ultimate protection against illegal hiring. every american over time would turn their piece of paper into a biometric document and we would end, in my view, illegal hiring through that process better than anything i could think of. we had some push back from our libertarian friends. when it comes to the exit system, i'm where senator flake said. let's go with a hatch proposal. i want biometrics as far as the eye can see in as many ways as possible post 9/11 to protect
6:47 am
this nation. but to make it a trigger, in light of homuch it cost and how much it takes, i just think goes too far. making it a mandate on 30 airports thacan grow over time, i think, is the right balance. >> i don't want to cut anybody off, but i know there are some hoping to get late afternoon flight tomorrow afternoon. at the rate we're going, it will be saturday afternoon. senator cornyn, then senator schumer. >> i'll try to be brief. i just want to make clear that i ask the gang members to clarify for us exactly what the trigger is. e bill, as i read it, only requir that a system be in use. and if it's in use, does it cover all land ports, all seaports and all airports or just some fraction of those? >> all air and sea, yes. >> all air and seaports, that's
6:48 am
the trigger, but not land ports. i would just no as senator sessions had we have millions of people coming across through the land ports on a daily basis. obviously, i'm concerned th this not slow down legitimate commerce and visitors, but it is a huge hole. i would just say it looks to me that the trig arer for the entrexit system is actually different from the tgger for the border security element in the bill. i just would like one of the gang members to explain. as read the bill, the trigger for the border security component just requires a plan to be produced, not a plan implemented or a plan that achieves certain metrics o results. why was there a decision to treat the border security trigger differently than these
6:49 am
other triggers? >> can i take a shot at that? >> i'd like to offer my -- i was going to offer my amenent, mr. chairman. we debated the biometric yesterday at a great length. we voted on a biometric bill. we'll debate it on the floor. i would like to move my amendment. >> i would like to get an answer to my question. >> listen, i don't think it's an unreasonable question. >> thank you. >> i think it's a very good question. i think we need to talk about what we decided was good border security. i'm very proud of it. i'm going to support it. if you can make it better without destroying the bill, great. on the republican side, we have a reputation of never quite getting there on border security. now, why are we tying the pathway to citizenship to a guessworker program? because i'm not going to live 11 million illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship until i get something i want.
6:50 am
i want a new immigration system. i'm not going to trust them to give it to me after they get on a path to citizenship. our democratic friends are not going to trust us to hold everything up until we are satisfied with border security. you live on the border. i know you're assassin sear about this as possible, but we got to talk about the elephant in the room here. every time we have this debate, the's always a reason the border is not quite secure enough. we spent billions of dollars, we got 21,000 border security agents on the border, spending $4.5 billion more, we are going to have 18 drones, have technology we used in iraq and afghanistan, and we're going to have as a trigger that the comprehensive southern border strategy is substantially deployed and operational. we're going to have to have some terms that are a bit flexible because at the end of the day, people on thr side believe
6:51 am
we're going to use 90% or 95% define one problem in the border and we never quite get there. your desire to secure this border is m desire. the southern border fencing strategy is substantially completed. to me that makes sense. as senator cornyn has expressed nurous times, fences really are not the best security available to the country in some parts. so in my view, the mandatory e-verify system is the ultimate border security cause they come here to t jobs. as to the land-base exit system, the seaports and the airports have not had the attention the land base system has, so that's why we created a new system. that's the gap in the system is e airports and the seaports. look at boston. that's the gap. on the land side, we're improving every day, want to do more. i'm not against bimetrics, but here's what i'm against.
6:52 am
i'm against having systems that can never be achieved. in my lifetime. i'm against moving -- i'm for moving forward making our border more secure, but i will end with this thought. the reason we have 11 million illegal immigrants, none of them coming from canada, is because the people who come here from the south and overstay the visas come from very distressed parts of the world. if you can control wh gets a job, you're going to control illegal immigration. you cannot build a fence high enough if you're still having availability of jobs in america to illegal immigrants. we are going to do things we've never done before. enhance border security by spending more money using more technology, but finally, in my view, address the cause of this problem. controlling who gets a job. under this bill, if you're an employer and you hire somebody illegally in the future, you're going to go to jail or lose your business. that's a long overdue reform.
6:53 am
>> mr. chairma >> mr. chairman? >> certainly, on the schumer number five, anybody else wishes to talk about then we can have a voice vote? >> if i could respond briefly to my friend. drug cartels and human traffickers don't use e-verify. drug cartels and human traffickers don't use e-verify. they don't use an entry/exit stem. i don't doubt the sincerity of what the gang has proposed, but here is even more fundamental problem. is that the border security component -- trigger, calls for a plan. it does not call for results, it calls for a plan. i'll be glad to yield in a
6:54 am
moment. to say that it's just more spending, i think it is going to cost more money to provide border security, but right now the gao has said that only about 45% of our border is operationally secure. that caused the department of homeland security to do away with that as a metric to judge their success. they have yet to come up with a substitute which is the so-calle border security index. so i would defy anyone to be able to show, based on results as opposed to hopes, aspirations and dreams, that the border is secure. that's what i believe the american people expect and deserve. in fact, if this bill were to pass without adequate measures for eliminating the source of so much of the illegal immigration, i think this bill is designed to
6:55 am
fail. i know no one here wants this bill to be designed to fail. yes, sir? >> senator grassley, question to -- >> to this point exactly. the gentleman brings up great points. >> we'll go back to the point of the amendment itself, but go ahead. >> i think maybe there is a misunderstanding what constitutes an actual trigger, submittal of the plan or substantial completion. with this legislation, what we are saying before, rpi status can start for anyone there has to be a plan submitted. keep in mind tt plan has to be substantially deployed. if it does not produce 90% effectiveness after a five-year period, the departmentf homeland security loses control to a local commission made up of border governors, local ranchers and others who will spend an addition dwral additional $2 billion and then you have a period of time before anybody can adjust their status where it's not just a matter of
6:56 am
submitting a plan. already triggers have been tripped if substantial, if 90% effectiveness is not reached before anybody can adjust status, these measures have to be substantially deployed. that the commission put forward. so these are not just plans submitted. it's substantially more than that. and before anybody can adjust status, these other things, entry/exit system has to be in use, not just a plan submitted in use. and e-verify has to be in use. these are not just plans. it's far more than that. the confusion may exist on whether when rpi status starts as opposed to adjustment of status beyond that. so i don't blame anyone for being confused on this we have several points, but there is substantial work that has to be done and completed before people adjust their status.
6:57 am
>> i would just offer by brief response, i don't doubt the sincerity of the plan. thank you for the explanation. but in fact, the commission has no power other than to create another plan. it's just -- >> but that plan has to be substantially completed. it's not just submittal that triggers anything. before anybodyan adjust status, it has to be substantially deployed. >> i don't underestimate the sincerity of the senator and the gang of eight in their aspirations and hopes and dreams for this, but it's a an, it's a hypothetical plan. we don't know whether it will ever be implemented. that's my concern. >> senator grassley had a question of senator schumer. >> senator schumer, question. iteems to me that your amendment works contrary to what we are trying to accomplish here. we've got people in other countries that are waiting in line to come here legally to work under the program set up here.
6:58 am
with your secondary registry, it seems to me you're giving preference to people that are already here, and if those people aren't working, why are they still here? >> it's very simple. what we are saying here is before you can bring someone from out of the country into the country to work, you either have to find americans or someone who is already here on a work visa or bringing someone else new you ought to look at the supply in this country. so the other registry is all the people who are already here on w-visas, maybe they're working, maybe they're not. if not, you ought to go for them before you bring in someone new. >> if ty're not working, they shouldn'n'n'n'n'n'n'n'n'n' >> the house ways and means committee holds a hearing on the internal revenue service practice of targeting
6:59 am
conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status and members will hear from the treasury department inspector general and steve miller, the outgoing irs commissioner who resigned wednesday. live coverage of the hearing on c-span 2 at 9:00 a.m. eastern and you can read the inspector general's report on the internal revenue service on line at c- moments, today's headlines and your calls "washington journal live washington." that house is back in session in a couple of hours. the agenda includes a bill that would require the securities and exchange commission to do more cost-benefit analysis before implementing new regulations. in about 45 minutes, we will discuss the irs targeting of conservative groups with republican rep charles bustani from louisiana.
7:00 am
we will also be joined by rep lois katz to take your questions about implementation of the affordable care back later this year and a thursday out -- house vote to repeal it. "washington journal" next . host: good morning, it's washington journal, may 17. it's the first congressional hearing, on the irs targeting of conservative groups, which takes place at 9:00. the witness will include steven miller, the outgoing commissioner. if you'll also hear from the treasury inspector general for tax administration. that's at 9:00. you can watch it on c-span2, listen to it on c-span radio. a host of resources also available on concerning the hearing. yesterday the house took its 37

Capitol Hill Hearings
CSPAN May 17, 2013 6:00am-7:01am EDT


TOPIC FREQUENCY Grassley 16, Schumer 13, Ireland 11, Us 9, United States 8, U.s. 6, Cornyn 5, New York 4, America 4, Washington 3, Alabama 3, Graham 3, Kennedy 3, John Smith 3, United States Senate 2, Steve Miller 2, Texas 2, Gao 2, Arizona 2, C-span 2
Network CSPAN
Duration 01:01:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 17
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 704
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 5/17/2013